Sorry for the lack of posts recently, when I have a cold all I want to do is crawl up in bed and sleep. For the most part that is what I did all day yesterday, but now I am back, well for the day at least, next week I will be in Tokyo for the first half of the week and then a beach town 2 hours outside of Tokyo for the second half of the week. The reason for my trip to Japan is the International Lifesaving Cup.
The 2007 Sanyo-Bussan International Lifesaving Cup will be held next week on Aug. 31st and Sept. 1st. Basically it is a life guard competition between the US, Japan, South Africa, Great Britain and Australia. Each country enters a team of 10 (5 men and 5 women) to participate, actually, Japan has 2 teams, I guess as the host nation they get to do things like that.
There are a plethora of events: water rescue, running relays, some of the events probably even have something to do with water I’d assume. The event that I am going to check out though doesn’t. Women’s Beach Flags, from what I have heard, is a bit like musical chairs. The object of beach flags is to race from one line to another and grab a “flag,” there is one fewer flags then there are participants, the contest continues until there is just 1 flag left and it is grabbed by one of the last two competitors.
As it has been explained to me the competitors start laying on their stomachs with their backs to the flags. When they get the signal they get up, sprint to the flags and try to grab one (or rip it out of another competitor’s hand). To get invited to the International competition you need to place 1st or 2nd in the National Competition from the previous year (as the 1st place competitor from alst year could not make it the 3rd place competitor was invited in her place).
As a New Yorker I am happy to see that there are 4 New Yorkers representing the United States Lifesaving Association on the team (the other 6 are made up of 4 Californians, a Floridian and a Delawarian. But the real star (as far as I am concerned) is my sister Analisa Cipriano. She placed 2nd in both the local competition and the USLA National competition last year in Beach Flags earning her an invite to the international competition. Her team-mate Emily Ward (also from NY) had beaten her in the local competition, but came in third at Nationals last year. According to an article from the East Hampton Star (because the one from the East Hampton Press still hasn’t come out) Ward has “‘been training — doing a lot of sprint exercises and practicing my get-up.’” In typical Cipriano fashion, Analisa on the other hand said “‘Generally with track I’m pretty competitive… With this, not so much. I try not to pay too much attention to the people next to me. I’m not that good at the get-up or the dive, but I make up for it with my sprinting.’”
I can attest to this, Analisa has done very little prep for the event, she even decided to bypass this years National Competition (though she placed 1st in the local competition). The Sanyo-Bussan Competition will mark her 4th time ever doing the Beach Flags Event, but with the track record she current has and her nonchalance attitude towards the event she probably has a pretty good chance of winning.
I’ll be writing next week (if I get to a computer) from Japan and reporting on the competition as well as Tokyo, I even have Lonely Planet Encounters: Tokyo which I will be reviewing while I am there, so keep an eye out for my Tokyo posts and I’ll keep you well informed about the tastiest sakes I have had.